“In the universe there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors”—William Blake
"What are the liminal spaces that exist between what we understand as reality and what is truly happening behind these walls of perception? Walking through Havana, Cuba, I was struck by the beauty of its architecture, be it a well kept, colorful building or the remnants of a neoclassical façade. These buildings weren’t museums or governmental buildings; they were ordinary houses—places ordinary people walk in and out of every day.
I felt incredibly welcomed in the homes and spaces of several Cubans during our trip. Yet the disparity between the warmth of the people and the visual disintegration of the buildings they lived in troubled me. Around three houses collapse every day in Havana, creating a hazard not only to those living inside but also to anyone in the area. What does it mean when people die not because of homelessness but because of living in their own homes? Is this the government’s responsibility? How has the embargo contributed to these conditions?
I believe the only way to truly understand a place, culture, or society is through its people. This is especially important when examining Cuba; due to its history of isolation from the United States, a lack of information can easily create stereotypes about its situation. This project is thus an exploration of understanding what lies beyond the walls. It also explores bigger questions such as the government’s role in eliminating homelessness while simultaneously disengaging with restoration work."—Yael Heiblum